Monday, January 30, 2006
Kerry's post on Huffington Post
The reality is simple. We care about the future of our country. We care about the millions of Americans who expect Congress to stand up and fight for their rights and their freedoms, and we also know that the Supreme Court, again and again, is the battlefield on which those rights and freedoms are decided.
So let's get this straight. The time to fight is now - before we make the irreversible decision of confirming a new Supreme Court Justice. When you're talking about the Supreme Court, you don't live to fight another day. It's a zero sum game. Once Judge Alito becomes Justice Alito, there's no turning back the Senate confirmation vote. We don't get to 'take a mulligan' when choosing a Supreme Court Justice. The direction our country takes for the next thirty years is being set now. Will it matter if we speak up after the Supreme Court has granted the executive the right to use torture, or to eavesdrop without warrants? Will it matter if we speak up only after a woman's right to privacy has been taken away? Will history record what we say after the courthouse door is slammed in the faces of women, minorities, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor? No. History will record what we say and what we do now.
I couldn't have said it any better. How come some Democrats and bloggers think that winning the 2006 election would be sufficient enough? This is a LIFETIME appointment and Alito is only in his mid 50s I believe, meaning that he could have at least 20 years on the bench. That's a shitload of votes he could cast to transform our glorious democratic experiment into a fascist state with a Dear Leader. Democrats seem to believe that we as the base will be satisfied with a no vote because at least they're not supporting the March to Fascism. Well they're wrong. If they fuck this up, we can make them pay in the upcoming elections. We SHALL hold them accountable unlike the brain-dead sheep freepers who vote GOP no matter what.
What on earth are we waiting for? We all know why President Bush nominated Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. He is packing the court with conservative ideologues who will extend the legacy of his presidency for years to come. After all, Judge Alito was nominated only after extreme members of the right-wing killed the nomination of Harriet Miers, an accomplished lawyer who ideologues fumed lacked a track record of proven, tested, activist conservatism. Those same individuals heralded Judge Alito's nomination. Ann Coulter, who last week suggested Justice Stevens should be poisoned, who denounced the nomination of John Roberts, celebrated Judge Alito's nomination, stating that Bush gave Democrats 'a right-hook' - high praise from an activist who said that Republicans need to nominate a person who 'wake[s] up every morning . . . chortling about how much his latest opinion will tick off the left.'
Kerry makes an excellent point here. The Right always bitches and moans about giving ALL nominees a fair up-and-down vote. Well what happened to Harriet Miers? Perhaps the Religious Right was finally clued into the fact that they are second to eat at the trough. Perhaps they realized that Miers was not the hardcore conservative they were looking for. Well I hate to break it to you, but even if Alito is confirmed, the GOP will find a way to FUCK YOU OVER because they don't want to lose the suburb votes they would if Roe v. Wade is overturned. They'll play that same game they always play with you.
I've always said that the Republicans were playing their base for fools when it came to abortion. Take the "partial-birth" abortion ban for example. It's so draconian that it does not have an exception for the health of the mother. So what do the courts do? Strike it down for that very reason. Any half-wit knows that the courts would strike this down because the health of the mother must be taken into account. Now I admit there are those who demand that abortion be illegalized even in cases where the mother would die without one, but that is a digression. The GOP probably did this on purpose knowing that they could have it both ways. This allows the GOP to have its cake and eat it too as then it can claim that they tried to deliver on the abortion issue but the liberal "activist judges" again stood in their way. It paints them as the good guys while demonizing liberals as Satanic fetus-eaters, conning the Religious Right into supporting them in the next election.
After reviewing Judge Alito's writings as a Department of Justice lawyer and a federal judge, I have no doubt why he is so heralded by the most extreme Republicans. There is no doubt about the kind of Justice Samuel Alito will be. He will make it harder for the most disadvantaged members of our society to have their day in court. He will allow the President's power to grow far beyond what the Framers of the Constitution intended. He will roll back women's privacy rights. Empty promises made in the heat of a highly-charged and exceedingly political confirmation battle cannot erase a twenty year record.
This is exactly what Bush's true base wants. The corporations don't want to be held accountable for anything. If you get sick drinking water befouled by a factory, it's your own fault for drinking the water. Perhaps you should have taken the personal responsibility to live somewhere else. The corporations don't want you to sue for defective products that have harmed you. They don't want to have to pay for anti-pollution measures. They don't want to be regulated because it takes away from their profits.
No one will be able to say, in five to ten years, that they are surprised by the decisions Judge Alito makes from the bench. They know that in his fifteen years on the Third Circuit, Judge Alito has almost never voted in favor of African-American plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases. They know that he routinely defers to government invasions into personal privacy, often going out of his way to excuse unlawful government actions. And they know that the only statement he has ever made regarding a woman's right to privacy is that she does not have one.
In Alito's world, corporations will have the freedom to do anything we want, while Big Brother clamps down on us. Corporations will be able to discriminate against anyone they want. Big Brother will be allowed to go through our emails, our letters, our garbage to determine if we pose a political threat at all. It'll be up to the individual to prove discrimination on the job and the individual will always lose no matter what because you have a judge who prejudges the merits of these cases.
People who believe in privacy rights, who fight for the rights of the most disadvantaged, who believe in balancing the power between the President and Congress have no choice but to stand up against Judge Alito.
I know better than anyone that elections have consequences and that the President has every right to nominate whomever he chooses to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. But I also know that Senators have the right - in fact, they have a constitutional responsibility, to question whether that nominee is the right choice. That is why the Framers required the Senate to provide advice and consent. We are not meant to be a rubber stamp. We need not rush to judgment simply to satisfy the political deadline of a State of the Union address.
In fact, Bush does not deserve to have ANY judicial nominees confirmed since he did not legitimately win either elections. Considering Al Gore lost in one county run by the black box machines 16,022 votes and the final "margin of victory" was only 537 votes, he should have never been president at all.
I am convinced that Judge Alito is the wrong choice for America. In fact, I am convinced that he is a dangerous choice for America. This is a rare moment in Washington. We are facing the vote of a lifetime - a vote that will shape the law for generations to come. Despite the predictions of the pundits, the story is not over until the last vote is cast. We cannot win unless we try. The time to take a stand is now, to fight for the rights and freedoms of all Americans is when they're endangered not after they've been diminished. It is time to take a stand against Judge Alito, and take a stand for the kind of America we've been for over two hundred years.
My dear senator,
Even though we all know you won the Election of 2004, we all wish you would have spoken with a passion and fire burning in the breast during the election campaign. Nonetheless, thank you for outlining why we must oppose Samuel Alito.